Friday, 1 November 2013

Life in Black and White

My life is always a gentle chaos, where I permanently chase around, striving to hold together the threads and keep some sort of order. The month of October was no exception, except there was a a more determined glint in my eye as I strove to prepare the house and life for 'The Salisbury Arts Trail'. For 10 days my rooms were full of art and people. I will leave it to your imaginations as to the work and tidying that lead up to those wonderful days...
This year I had a very special reason for all the hard work- my son Samuel, who was going to be one of the two artists exhibiting in my house. I'm sure that the lovely John Gustard, brilliant painter and great friend, will forgive my favouritism, during this piece.

It is no small thing to provide enough pictures to fill an exhibition and Sam was kept extremely busy: drawing, choosing photographs, printing and framing works.I was determined that this should happen however. As his teachers will agree- Sam is incredibly talented but  he battles with fitting into the educational system. He is not rude or rowdy- the very opposite-but he finds it incredibly hard to produce suitable work within the time scale allowed. This has meant his exam results do not represent his brilliance! As a teenager and an artist, it is doubly easy to become discouraged and depressed.
It was important, therefore, to give his art a chance to prove its worth.

The first sale is always a milestone- ( there is the all-important 'red dot' on the card of the photograph!)

The private view was its usual riotous, wonderful mix of friends, animals, art and wine. I think they are one of my favourite social events- what could be a better mix?

By the end of the evening there were enough sales for the artists to feel happy and appreciated. For Sam though, the important thing was- as he put it so perfectly-
" A Stranger loved and bought my pictures".
Throughout the week Sam shared his love of photography with other artists-

and had his pictures discussed and appreciated

It was a busy week. We even had a day when young artists brought in the work to 'show and tell'

What made me the happiest was people's reactions to Sam's most important piece.
 He drew it for his art GCSE exam when he was 15. It is the foundations of Salisbury's Cathedral crammed with delicate drawings of all Sam's favourite buildings from the city. It's unique, quirky and a joy to every body who loves the architecture and history of Salisbury. His teachers loved it but it did not impress the examiners and Sam did not receive the grade he needed or was hoping for.
We made full size and small prints of " The Foundations of the City" and everybody loved them ... and bought them!

So the Art's Trail was a success, the walls of the house have still not recovered but I'm content. On the last day we took a picture of John, Sam and myself- happy and satisfied

We had made a good team.
And I am so very proud of my son.
With thanks also to David, Emily, and Anne Marie ( John's wife) for all their loving support.


  1. I'm so glad that Sam had a chance to have his work appreciated. That's very scary - being right up there to be judged, so to speak, by everyone. I'm glad he did well and I hope he got the encouragement to feel like he can go on with courage. How wonderful your home is to be warmed by friends like that. Blessings, Diane

    1. Hello Diane, It was brave of him and he is very pleased that he plucked up courage. He sold a dozen pictures and has made enough money to buy a new camera- so it was very worth while. As for me- I loved having my home turned into an art gallery. Jane xx

  2. The loveliest post! I am so glad he received the public acknowledgement that he deserves. I hope it has encouraged him to keep going and pushing the limits of his work. It is all so exciting!

    1. Thanks you, it was exciting, for me as well as him. I love that buzz that happens at a good private view where everybody is moved by what they see. Jane xx

  3. What a wonderful thing to do, and such a happy occasion! It is so important to encourage our children to achieve their potential and sadly the education system we have doesn't necessarily see beyond the tick boxes. My oldest son was and is very artistic and talented - it is his hobby and his passion, but he too fared very badly in his Art GCSE as his work, though interesting and usual, did not tick all the right boxes - it is possible to achieve a high grade in this subject without any inate talent whatsoever. I am so pleased Sam was encourage by the reaction to his work.

    1. Hello Marianne, I was so happy that this week proved a success for Sam.It was taking a risk but it proved worth it and hopefully Sam will be inspired to continue working as he feels best. I so agree with you about Art GCSE, it seems you have to fit in with the sort of art that is in fashion. Well, onwards and upwards for Sam, I hope! Jane xx

  4. It's good that Sam could have his work seen outside the rather conventional and goal orientated atmosphere of school. When I first went to art school, the tutor asked who had got top marks. He told the people who put their hands up that they would have to learn to think for themselves now. :)

    Sounds like a good time was had by all!

    1. I shall show Sam your message, I'm sure it will cheer him! It was a great week. I wish it happened every year, not every other. Jane xx

  5. So pleased yours son's art works were appreciated and it has given him the boost of confidence that he needed.

  6. How lovely - I firmly believe that everyone has their time to shine and Sam is having/will have that too
    Best wishes